God forgive me, I interviewed Christian Louboutin while wearing some trainers. Not fancy sci-fi ones either, but properly old and grimy ones. Louboutin is among the most famous shoe designers worldwide and officially probably the most prestigious, as outlined by independent ratings company Luxury Institute, which contains named Christian Louboutin as being the most desirable shoe brand on earth within the last three years. He is even the man who may be credited, or blamed, for bringing the stiletto back into fashion. So wearing trainers to fulfill him is a little like suggesting to Jamie Oliver which we meet at McDonald’s for lunch.
But – whaddyaknow – christian louboutin australia turns approximately his tiny and stiletto-filled office wearing trainers himself. (Although where mine say Converse, his say, inside a discreet logo around the side, Christian Louboutin, which, presumably, would be useful should he forget his name.)
“I check out the face first. And once I consider the face, I attempt to see the personality and, from that, guess what sort of shoes this girl would have.”
Perhaps he was just tired. He had flown because morning from Dubai where he is about to open his 20th boutique – with another 13 planned this year – and did not sleep about the plane “at all”. And when he warms up and that we turn the conversation clear of strict business chat, he or she is fantastic fun, making dry remarks after which smiling quietly afterwards. At some time I inquire if, having shod just about every celebrity on the planet, from Madonna to France’s first lady Carla Bruni, there may be anyone left he’d like like a customer. His eyes skirt round the office, settling finally on a set of particularly high black stilettos, studded throughout with silver spikes. He turns back and replies, po-faced, “The Queen of England.”
For many years, perfume sales powered the fashion world. It became jeans. Now, more than ever, it’s shoes and bags, in fact it is no coincidence that Louboutin arrived inside the 90s when this switch began. He, Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Choo’s Tamara Mellon are definitely the Holy Trinity in the luxury footwear market, having helped turn shoes from something you add in your feet to protect yourself from splinters into fetish objects for ladies. Louboutin is already at the top of that triangle.
Where Manolo Blahnik footwear is either plain or quirky, and Jimmy Choos possess the distinct sheen of Eurotrash directly to them, Christian Louboutin shoes say one particular word: se-x. Everything on them – off their disco styles, towards the aggressive thrust of the shoe’s curvature, for the almost por-nographic red sole, flashing observers from behind as being the lady walks away – shouts se-x.
Seemingly every celebrity within the paparazzi sun, from Lady Gaga to Victoria Beckham, has proclaimed their passion for the man. But Louboutin himself proves to get remarkably little curiosity about the international celebrity scene. Was he starstruck when, say, Madonna was photographed wearing his shoes? No, he wasn’t. But he was really a little excited when he determined the first Mrs Johnny Hallyday was really a fan – “Hallyday is a major singer in France, you realize.”
Louboutin also recently received the very best honour a shoe designer can receive these days: his shoes should be featured inside the new S-ex Along With The City film. This is not only a major plug, but a potentially controversial one, as Manolo Blahnik shoes were this kind of mainstay from the TV series how the term “Manolos” entered the lexicon. But is louboutins melbourne excited?
He even refused to go on the Oprah Winfrey Show when she did an entire episode regarding how much she loves his shoes, which happens to be as near that you can be able to being knighted in the us. “They filmed the very first part of the show in Paris and made me stand outside inside the cold – so naturally I got sick,” he says, still outraged with the cheek than it. “So then when they said, ‘Come to Chicago’ [where Winfrey films her show], I said, ‘Are you crazy? I’m sick, my God!'”
Instead, Louboutin prefers his hobbies: landscaping (there are actually often plant information on his shoes), trapeze (he has a swing in the studio) and, occasionally, dancing. He recently produced a film of himself tap dancing for Simon Fuller’s fashion website, Fashionair, which is actually a vision of unselfconscious joy (and, yes, he made the footwear).
He has additionally been redesigning his Paris apartment for five-years. “It’s not too I’m a perfectionist,” he says, before launching into a seven-minute anecdote about how he’s made the builders redo the windows three times to obtain the angles right.
Above all, he works: supervising the factories, having meetings around the globe after which, twice a year, he will isolate himself in just one of his four country houses (Egypt, Syria, France, Portugal) as he designs the latest collections.
Once we meet it’s the very first day of Paris fashion week, a prospect that is not going to suffuse his face with joy. “I never was considering being part of the style world – I really wished to design shoes. I didn’t realize Vogue existed as i was growing up. Vogue, what is that?” he protests.
Not long ago, Louboutin was offered the position of designer with a major fashion label, though he won’t say which. “And I Also really was almost offended,” he says, still sounding it. “I mean, the shoe – there is a music on it, there exists attitude, there is sound, it’s a movement. Clothes – it’s a different story. You will find a million things I’d rather do before designing clothes: directing, landscaping. Designing clothes?” His face indicates his opinion of this.
Louboutin came to be in 1963 and raised in Paris. His father had been a carpenter with his fantastic mother was “not at all” a very high heel fan. His four sisters liked “cork wedges”, he remembers, without fondness. “Just about the contrary of the things I really do now.”
Yet his taste was established in their childhood. When Louboutin was 13, he and his awesome friends would sneak out of school to go to Le Palace, a Paris nightclub, but while his mates checked out the girls on stage, he just checked out their shoes. “A number of the shoes I make today are still inspired from the Palace – the disco look, the metal, the glitter.”
He never went to fashion or design school and instead got his training doing work for, and others, Charles Jourdan, Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent. However, he had an unfortunate tendency to obtain fired: “It’s because I used to be an awful assistant. An assistant should certainly assist – I always aspired to do my very own thing.”
He is adamant he never had any career plan or ambition to own his very own company, which I don’t wholly buy. It is extremely hard to be successful without wanting it very badly, especially in the fashion business, and Louboutin, for many his Gallic nonchalance, does play in the game. He once made a decision to miss your flight returning to Paris from America so he could spend two more hours in the department store autographing his shoes. “To my favourite hot housewife,” Time magazine 06dexipky he scrawled using one customer’s shoe.
Today, Louboutin shoes are known for 2 things: price and height. A couple of Louboutin high heels can easily cost $700 (£465); boots could go approximately $2,000 (£1,325) plus more. Nor are his the only real ones: all designer shoes seem to have increased in price by at least 50% over the last decade, which Louboutin blames on the euro – “Everything got higher priced, even bread” – as opposed to designers simply jacking in the prices whenever they realised everyone was ready to pay them.
As well as being from the vanguard of higher prices, louboutin australia can also be the main thing on higher heels, bringing stilettos back to fashion, together with all the current contradictions that are included with them. Jennifer Lopez once told Harper’s Bazaar magazine that Louboutin’s shoes “kill you. But they’re the se-xiest shoes around.” How do immobility be se-xy?
At this time Louboutin starts referring to “the construction of the shoe” and “the direction in the weight” and all sorts of the usual noises people make when trying to assert that the high-heeled shoe can be comfortable. But the truth is, no matter what the building, the girl is hoicked on her toes. The argument about whether high heel shoes empower women is fruitless and, in fact this time around, a little tired. But even Louboutin seems stumped from the contradiction. When I inquire if comfort is a crucial consider designing his shoes, he ums and ahs a tad: “It is recommended because a woman doesn’t look great if she’s not comfortable. However I wouldn’t bring it as a compliment when someone investigated among my shoes and said, ‘Oh, that appears just like a comfortable shoe’,” he says with distinct scorn. When asked when there is this being a too-high heel, he replies, “There is a heel that is certainly excessive to walk in, certainly. But who cares? You don’t ought to walk in high heels.”